Speaking at the patent infringement trial between Google and Oracle, Google CEO Larry Page revealed that Android was not critical to the search giant in 2010 and its purpose was merely to push Google services into the hands of more users. Page revealed that Android was not critical to the company, but was still ‘very important for Google.’
According to Page, it seems like the main purpose for Google to develop and release Android was to ensure the best possible user experience for consumers when trying to access Google services, such as Gmail, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Voice, and others. Page stated that the company tried various Java mobile apps on 100 different phones before releasing Android and all 100 phones yielded different experiences, leading to a very fragmented feature phone and smartphone market. The Verge reported that Page said that ‘it was almost impossible to develop for them.’
Still, another Google service that Android may help with is mobile advertising, and Google does stand to profit from leveraging its search, advertising, and location-based services on a platform that it freely gives away to licensees. In addition to ad placement in Android’s browser and on various third-party apps made for the Android platform, Google is dipping into the local space with Google Offers, Google Places, and even targeted coupons and deals on Google Wallet, which is enabled on select Android smartphones with near field communications (NFC) technology.
In the end, Google’s Android platform seems to be meeting the company’s goal for the mobile operating system–reaching consumers through a great user experience with Google services while at the same time delivering ads and generating revenue for the search giant.